While there may be parole conditions that could restrict a registered sex offender from coaching youth sports, it's not illegal in Kansas, according to a report from KWCH-TV.
In Wichita, a news station investigated the issue after a resident contacted the station about a youth sports coach in the area who was found on the sex offender registry. Since the conduct is legal, the news station did not identify the coach.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told KWCH-TV that there is no criminal law in Kansas to prevent a sex offender from coaching kids. “There may be conditions of parole or probation that prohibit 'unsupervised conduct' or require a convicted offender to not reside within a certain distance from a school. Once the term of probation has been served, that condition no longer applies.”
Personal protection expert and former Miami police detective Joe Schillaci told the news station that youth sports are a way in which sex offenders can scout victims.
"Predators will go anywhere that there are kids, especially pedophiles," Schillaci said. "It won't just be there. It's anywhere that kids congregate. That’s why I always tell the listeners that you have to be very proactive and very aware of where your children are, who they’re involved with. Get involved. The more you get involved, the more you police your children."
Schillaci said simple Google searches of names, background checks and more are ways to find information about your child’s coaches.
"If you know the name of the person that’s coaching, Google that name. It’s public record,” he said. “If that person is on a registry, it’ll come up. And again, be proactive with the organization that your child is going to be a part of." He said parents should ask questions, get involved, attend practices, get to know other parents and get to know the coaches.
"Don’t just think you can send your child out the door and he or she is going to be safe anywhere, nonetheless a youth organization," Schillaci said, as reported by KWCH-TV. "We like to think that, in most cases they are, but you can’t just rely on that, you have to do your own due diligence.”
The station also reported that many youth club sports teams that aren’t affiliated with organizations aren’t obligated to do background checks on staff.